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Sussex Youth Philanthropy Board Presents $10K in Grants

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The Sussex County Youth Philanthropy Board (YPB) of the Delaware Community Foundation (DCF) awarded $10,000 to five Sussex County nonprofit organizations at a grants ceremony on April 14 at the CHEER Center in Georgetown.

The DCF’s Sussex County YPB is composed of 18 Sussex County students from public, independent and diocesan high schools. Since September, YPB members have been studying youth issues in their neighborhoods and schools, learning about community service and grantmaking, and visiting nonprofit organizations.

This year’s Sussex County YPB chose to focus on organizations that provide mental health services and counseling in the areas of substance abuse, harassment and suicide prevention for both youth and adults.

Catholic Charities – $2,000 will help fund 20 additional psychotherapy sessions for teens with little to no insurance who are dealing with behavioral issues that could lead to suicide.

Children & Families First – $2,500 will partially fund a new Expressive Movement Therapy program at Seaford House, which will help teens express their pain and lead them comfortably into conversation and discussion to facilitate their healing.

Delaware Guidance Services – $2,500 will help fund 100 additional treatment sessions for outpatient teens who are dealing with mental health conditions that could put them at risk for suicide.

La Red Health Center – $2,000 will partially fund two salaries for mental health providers and behavioral therapists dealing with teens who are at high risk for suicide and/or substance abuse disorders.

Mental Health Association in Delaware – $1,000 will partially offset costs for its ASIST and SafeTalk trainings to teach important skills for suicide prevention beyond the basic referral.

The Delaware Community Foundation sponsors a Youth Philanthropy Board in each Delaware county to encourage high school students to become more involved in philanthropy. Each board of high school students is allotted a pool of money to give as charitable grants. The students learn about philanthropy and effective grantmaking, study youth issues in their neighborhoods and schools, solicit grant proposals, conduct site visits, and award grants to those they determine to be most deserving.

Retired Delaware educator Phyllis Wynn established the Youth Philanthropy Fund in 1999 because she wanted to encourage youth to become more involved in philanthropic ventures. Students who serve on the YPB are nominated by their principal or guidance counselor.

“The Youth Philanthropy Board program does more than give kids the chance to make a difference,” DCF President & CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay said. “It gets them out into the community to experience firsthand the impact their work has on people’s lives.”

2015-16 Sussex County YPB

Student                                             Grade                             School

Olivia Anderson Junior Delmarva Christian High School
Grace Brokaw Senior Cape Henlopen High School
Ricky Brokaw Senior Cape Henlopen High School
Amy Green Junior Woodbridge High School
Zakary Keeler Senior Sussex Central High School
Jacob Lee Senior Seaford High School
Mariayna Lovelace Junior Indian River High School
Eben Marneweck Senior Delmarva Christian High School
Chase Marvil Senior Woodbridge High School
Lauren McCoy Senior Indian River High School
Nathanael Riddle Junior Sussex Academy
Brittany Ritter Junior Sussex Tech High School
Alex Rosenthal Senior Delmar High School
Hailee Smith Senior Sussex Central High School
Sarah Spicer Junior Cape Henlopen High School
Kelly Velasquez-Perez Junior Seaford High School
Timothy Ward Senior Delmar High School
Emily Whaley Senior Sussex Tech High School